Holiday Halitosis? Figure Out the Causes and Cures

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‘Tis the season for Christmas carols, reindeer, in-laws and bad breath. That’s right, with the all of the exciting festivities, many folks get stressed out decorating, finalizing travel plans and setting the table for your spouse’s parents. But while a little anxiousness is normal – and may help you complete your shopping list – too much can be bad for your overall and oral health. Here’s how it works: 

The saliva in your mouth acts as a natural cleansing agent, washing down food particles and bacteria. On average, we produce 1.5 liters of saliva throughout the day. However, when we feel stressed, that amount falls sharply, leaving our mouths as dry as your aunt’s over-roasted turkey. As a result, odor-causing bacteria builds up along gum​ lines and teeth, triggering holiday halitosis.

Top causes for stress and bad breath
• Once you leave the cookies and milk out for Santa Claus, be sure not to dawdle around munching all night long. Excess snacking often takes hold of us during the holiday season, and while some is not going to kill you, it makes you more prone to cavities and dental plaque. Grazing on roasted turkey, candy canes and gingerbread men doesn’t give saliva a chance to wash out harmful bacteria. The longer sugars hang on teeth, the more time they have to wear down enamel. Stay on Santa’s good side, and prevent yourself from leaving behind only cookie crumbs.

• Yes, Black Friday is over, but your shopping list may be far from done. If you want to crush your competition in Secret Santa while picking up all the presents that little Sandy and Johnny dream of under the Christmas tree, be proactive. Get your holiday shopping done sooner rather than later. As you know from years past, waiting until the last minute not only leaves you more stressed, it drops the likelihood that your gifts remain in stock. You don’t want your holiday spirit to fall like a weighed-down red sleigh that can’t fly over roof tops. Avoid stress by beating the crowds and stinky breath.

• Your in-laws are coming over for the holiday dinner. The tree is decorated in the corner and the table is set. In spite of perhaps noticing some Grinch-like qualities in your second parents, there’s holiday hope that you can make it through. Feeling nervous or anxious may only worsen your mouth odor, and no one wants that. A good test is to lick your wrist, let it dry for five seconds, then smell it. If it reeks, you may need a piece of gum. Take a deep breath and remember, the holidays are meant for relaxing.

• If you’re traveling during this holiday break, it’s a good idea to be over​-prepared. Double check flight times, pack wisely and show up to the airport early. Security lines are always long. Remember that if you’re bringing your toothbrush, mouthwash and toothpaste on the airplane, be sure all liquids are in containers that are 3.4 ounces or smaller. The last thing your dentist wants for you this holiday season is for your oral hygiene products to get taken by airport security.

In the case that your ginger bread house crumbles down and your breath sends Santa back up the chimney, check out TheraBreath Oral Rinse. This mouthwash is designed to combat sulfuric bacteria to keep your breath fresh as can be. Who knows, it may even make a good self-gift. Your oral health will thank you.

Happy holidays, and as always, keep smiling.

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